After beating Hull City last night, Aston Villa have secured European football for another year. It might not be the Champions’ League place that they were looking so good for at one stage this season, but Martin O’Neill’s achievements at Villa Park shouldn’t be overlooked.
This quote from the manager got me thinking, though:
There is obviously a tinge of disappointment at not keeping the battle going for fourth place but maybe now we can throw the shackles off and try and win the last few games.
A Villa liberated from the shackles is a truly frightening prospect. They are vibrant, threatening side with all the pace and talent O’Neill can field. I felt we were pretty fortunate to escape with a point from the away game earlier this season. With Barry pulling the strings and the likes of Agbonlahor and Ashley Young to test our defence, it should be a good game. Factor in John Carew, he of the failed Fulham medical, and Emile Heskey and we could be in for a long afternoon on Saturday.